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Brussels, 24 May 2011

European Enterprise Awards 2011 shortlist

Twelve projects have been shortlisted for the European Enterprise Awards (EEA) 2011. A total of 399 projects competed in national competitions in 29 European countries – 24 EU Member States and Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Serbia and Turkey – for the EEA this year. A high-level jury representing business, government and academia reviewed 54 entries and established a shortlist of 12 nominees in 5 categories. The winners will be announced at the 5th award ceremony at the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest on 24 May 2011, to which all nominees will be invited.

Category 1: Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Poland: Fostering entrepreneurship among the 50+

Mature Entrepreneur gives unemployed individuals, pensioners as well as employed individuals aged between 50 and 64 the opportunity to re-enter and remain in the labour market through self-employment. Those who qualify for the programme receive business skills training and business consultancy. Grants were given to those with the best business plans. The programme saw the creation of 33 new companies.

Gdansk Municipal Employment Office,

Spain: Transforming Barcelona's entrepreneurial landscape

With its mission to transform entrepreneurship and business growth in Barcelona, the City Council established the Barcelona Entrepreneurship Centre as a reference point and hub for entrepreneurs. More than 222.000 participants attend its events each year. Using an innovative model of both online and on-site services, the centre has coached more than 134,000 individuals and enabled the creation of 6,214 new companies since its establishment in 2004.

Barcelona City Council (BARCELONA ACTIVA SAU SPM),

Turkey: Local honey bee spurs entrepreneurial buzz

The local Yiğilca honey bee is a unique species that produces three times more honey than other bee races. Since this discovery, the Düzce University has brought honey production to the local population by adapting 255 hectares of forest land and training disadvantaged groups in beekeeping. Many have now started up their own apiaries and the town now stands to make an annual income of €750,000 over and above its €6,000in an annual government budget.

Düzce University Beekeeping Research, Development and Application Centre (DAGEM),

Category 2: Investing in Skills

Netherlands: Learning about entrepreneurship through real-life practice in Amsterdam

The Centre for Amsterdam Schools for Entrepreneurship (CASE) has introduced multidisciplinary entrepreneurship education in all faculties and levels of study. CASE creates opportunities for students to experience entrepreneurship and improve their skills. While at university, students establish real companies and work together with successful entrepreneurs who provide valuable guidance, facilities and contacts.

Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship,

UK: Creative skills drive social change and enterprise in Newham

Newham is an area of London suffering from high unemployment and serious crime compounded by the high concentrations of a young unskilled population. In this context, APE Media Ltd was formed to provide much needed professional skills to local youth. Focused primarily on the creative industries, APE Media Ltd works with around 200 partners, forming strategic alliances within the private, public and voluntary sectors. To date, more than 2,500 young people have benefited from the programmes, with at least 30 percent of them currently working in creative industries including the BBC Radio 1 and Sky TV.

Apple Pie Enterprises (APE Media) Ltd.,

Category 3: Improving the Business Environment

Hungary: Helping local SMEs by save energy and money

The Heves chamber of commerce implemented a new energy policy to help local business meet the 20-20-20% targets for energy savings, share of renewable energy and Co2 emissions reductions. The introduction of modern, energy efficient technologies including geo-thermal energy has helped local companies make energy savings totalling 61 million HUF (about €233,000).

Heves County Chamber of Commerce,

Sweden: Stimulating rural entrepreneurship through e-trade and micro-investments

The E-factory project is based on a public-private partnership that has found creative solutions to increase entrepreneurship and create jobs in rural Uppsala County. It offers a platform for advisory services and business development targeting companies and those seeking to start a company. In addition, a unique financial tool allows local residents to invest in local companies for as little as €50 per person, thus giving the local population a stake and a choice in business development. In the last three years, 39 new companies and 179 new jobs have been created most of which are in e-trade.

The Uppsala Regional Council,

Category 4: Supporting the Internationalisation of Business

France: Rhone-Alpes Region uses unique support model to boost exports

ERAI has developed a trademarked system, Implantis® to support the internationalisation of its companies especially in China. Its offices abroad offer a full incubation system including recruitment services, accommodation and supervision. To date, ERAI has helped more than 150 businesses register abroad and integrate fast into new markets.

Enterprise Rhône-Alpes International,

Italy: Internationalising Prato’s businesses through product experimentation

Rethinking the Product is a project designed by the Chamber of Commerce of Prato to encourage product experimentation and help companies find new uses and markets for their products. Companies from different sectors are matched to work together and create new designs and prototypes of products based on their area of expertise. The products are then presented at fairs and events domestically as well as internationally.

The Chamber of Commerce of Prato,

Category 5: Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship:

Austria: Mentoring for migrants helps social integration and economic development

Mentoring for Migrants was established by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in cooperation with a variety of partners to support qualified workers of ethnic background with their integration into the Austrian labour market, while also promoting the internationalisation of the Austrian economy. Since 2008, more than 450 mentoring pairs have been formed and many have led to successful jobs and enduring relationships.

Federal Economic Chamber,

Hungary: Hotel gains a competitive advantage by employing disabled individuals

Hotel Panda is earning an outstanding position in tourism by using a unique employment model: a team of employees with different kinds of disabilities. The owners seek to integrate disabled people into the business world and to educate people about the special needs of employees with disabilities in order to facilitate the creation of jobs for disabled people and discourage societal prejudices. Currently, 95 percent of the staff is disabled and during this time the hotel has doubled its profit.


Lithuania: Restaurant helps rehabilitation and integration of former drug addicts

This project seeks to integrate former drug addicts who have completed rehabilitation into the Lithuanian labour market. Working at Mano Guru restaurant in Vilnius, these individuals are provided with training as a chef, waiter or bartender over the course of six months. The restaurant simultaneously seeks to promote healthy eating habits while breaking stereotypes about chemically dependent people.

Į “Socialinai paramos projektai”,

For more information:

Full information about the awards, the jury and its collaborators

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